Friday, November 03, 2006


I am proud today to let you know that our new book on Independent Baseball has been published. This is as much a labor of love as anything, especially to be able to have in print the new list we created of all former Independent players who made it to the major leagues. It is more than 100 names long. I hope we have not omitted anyone. The press release below tells the story for those of you who are interested.

The Independent Minor Leagues: 2006 Season in Review

Baseball fans seem to generally understand these days that Independent Baseball has given players who have been bypassed in the draft or need a second opportunity an alternative to the major leagues and their farm systems. Digging deeper into what the Independent leagues are all about is more of a puzzle.

A newly-published book of nearly 150 spiral bound pages helps unravel these details. Author and lifetime baseball professional Bob Wirz also has compiled lists not found elsewhere for this third annual publication: “The Independent Minor Leagues: 2006 Season in Review”.

It is difficult to imagine that the Independent Baseball industry, with seven leagues and two more scheduled to open in 2007, have produced more than 100 players who made their way from merely being non-affiliated minor leaguers to playing in the major leagues. 2006 Season in Review contains a list to prove it, including where they played in Independent leagues.

Another addition to this year’s book is a list of more than 100 non-playing personnel who were working in the major leagues or elsewhere in affiliated baseball jobs this summer. The range runs from umpires to broadcasters to scouts to a bevy of minor league managers.

The newly-published book contains a complete list of more than 200 active players who were under contract to major league organizations this summer. Thirty-one of them played in the majors, and some might never have gotten any professional opportunity if it wasn’t for the Independent leagues. This group includes such players as 33-year-old Philadelphia Phillies rookie Chris Coste, Josh Kinney, one of the youngsters who emerged to help St. Louis’s bullpen during the Cardinals’ surge to the World Series title, and Kevin Millar, who played in his 1000th major league game this summer.

Wirz, the onetime Director of Information for Major League Baseball, includes all 30 of his Independent Baseball Insider columns between February and October. They contain well over100 stories covering all aspects of the game, from the heart-warming side of human triumph, to the off-beat stories that make Independent Baseball an attraction a record of more than 7,500,000 spectators enjoyed in 2006.

The 2006 Season in Review includes an index that allows fans to easily find stories about their favorite player or team.

The Independent Minor Leagues--2006 Season in Review may be purchased at or by sending a check for $21 (including $3 for shipping and handling) to Wirz & Associates, 665-A North Trail, Stratford, CT 06614.

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